The time has come, once again, to move. Thankfully, this time I am only moving a few blocks instead of the usual several hundred kilometers. I have spent the summer unemployed, developing hobbies and generally being a hobo. But that all is about to change! Not only am I moving this weekend but I am also starting a new job. Nothing like having everything come at the same time. It’s not like I have had ample time to move or start a new job in the last few months, nope, it all had to happen on the same weekend. Yay stress! It really shouldn’t be too bad, I’m sure I will manage.
As much as I despise moving I am actually very excited about this move. Mainly because I am currently living in what I lovingly refer to as a “hovel”. I call this place a hovel so often my boyfriend asked to to look up the definition so he could know exactly what it was I was calling it. If you too are unaware, a hovel is a “small, squalid, unpleasant or simply constructed dwelling” (as defined by Google). As soon as I read that he said “yup, that just about covers it”. “Are you living in a barn or a hole in the ground?!” you may ask. No, but close. We are living in, what I assume, is an illegal basement suite. At first it wasn’t too bad. Sure, the blinds were mainly all broken, there were weird stains on the floors and everything looked like it was constructed by a one armed blind man, but it wasn’t deplorable; yet. Then we had about a month of non stop rain which caused flooding in the surrounding area. We thought we were safe since our place didn’t flood and we didn’t need to be evacuated. We were wrong. Ever since then, this place has become unbearably damp. Everything, and I mean EVERYthing, molds! I was packing up my shoes the other day and discovered mold in the soles of two pairs! I was throughly grossed out and threw them away. We can’t keep bread or baked goods out or they will mold within days. Places where only water and soap ever touch the surface, like the bathroom sink and the dish rack in the kitchen, started to mold. If anything is left on the ground in the bed room, it becomes damp. Pages of books have become warped because of this.
So yeah, I’m excited to move!
I just finished listening to a documentary on CBC called “The Double Grind” (unfortunately I believe you can only stream it in Canada but I am sure there are other ways to listen to it). I hope you are able to give it a listen since it is really fascinating, extremely depressing, but fascinating. The podcast interviews various baristas at Second Cup, all of whom have are university graduates.
One of the biggest challenges for the underemployed is getting out of debt. If you finish school with $40,000 in debt then work a minimum wage job how are you ever going to catch up let alone get ahead? I am extremely fortunate that my parents paid for my schooling so I don’t have any student loans. I don’t think I would be able to function if I did. I feel it would be this big dark cloud constantly overhead, overwhelming me with anxiety. Many of my friends are not so lucky and not only are having a hard time finding work but are starting off in the red.
A couple of the subjects who were interviewed were graduates of Queens University, which is basically Canada’s version of an Ivy League school. Even with a degree from a prestigious school they are in the same boat as everyone else. Why spend more money to go to a “fancy” school when in reality it doesn’t make a difference. One of the girls realized this and decided to transfer to a college so that she would be able to do a co-op program. Now a days it seems like colleges or trade schools may be the way to go. They are usually less money, less time and give you hands on experience. Seems like the most logical way to go. For some reason it was looked down on to graduate from a college instead of a university but in today’s job market it might be the only way to go if you aren’t independently wealthy.
University is a great experience to broaden your mind. You have the opportunity to take courses like philosophy, history, foreign languages etc. but if you want a job it may not be practical.
We are at a point where we need to decide if we want to gain knowledge in general or if we want an education that can actually help get a job. I wish it wasn’t a choice that has to be made but it seems like it is.
I think the best point of this program was about how we identify with how we pay the bills. In other words, what we do for a living defines who we are as a person. I am beginning to realize that this doesn’t have to be true anymore. We can’t all make money from our passions. The best we can do is get a job that allows us time to still do what we love. Try and find a job that is somewhat enjoyable and pays the bills but it doesn’t have to define you as a person. Like the one girl said, she works in a coffee shop but if someone asks she says she is an actress and a boxer. Her passions are what define her, not her pay check.
Here is the link to the podcast, hopefully you are able to take a listen!
Okay, so it isn’t really something everyone can do, it is more something you are born with. If you are me, or my sister, all you have to do is walk into a store with the intention of buying something and voila, you are invisible. Not a single sales person will know you even exist. I am not sure what it is, maybe we have a certain look about us, even though we think we are giving off the “I want to buy something” vibe in reality we are saying “don’t notice us or help us or even acknowledge us in any way”. Thankfully I live in a big city with many malls and shopping locations. If I am ignored I will walk away. If you are rude or condescending, I will walk away. I don’t care if I have to go out of my way to go to another location, I will.
Yesterday I went shopping with the intent of buying new running shoes. I wasn’t browsing, I knew what I wanted and all I needed was someone to acknowledge me so that I could give them money in exchange for a pair of shoes. Sounds simple, does it not? I went to two different athletic shoe stores, not once but twice, and all four times I was completely ignored. I wandered around waiting for someone to ask if I needed help, and nothing. So I left. I drove to another mall and went to another store and gave them my money instead because they acknowledged me.
It is not much to ask for. If I am carrying a bundle of clothes please ask me if I need a fitting room. If I am looking at shoes, ask if you can get me a size. Maybe I am just browsing but if you ask then you will know for sure and I will feel like I exist. Feeling invisible and like you don’t matter is a terrible feeling. Even if it is just at a clothing store; you leave either feeling angry or hurt. I probably sound dramatic, which I usually am, but it is true. When I go shopping for something, whether it is shoes, clothes or electronics, I want to know that I matter. I don’t want to be treated poorly. If I have a good experience I am much more likely to come back and even recommend your store to other people.
Lesson of the story: Treat people well, especially if you work on commission because you never know…
Have you ever experienced that feel that there is a perfect word out there to describe everything you wish to say? A perfect word that encompasses more than any other word could. And the sheer joy you experience when you discover said word? Okay. So maybe you aren’t such a nerd but I’m sure you can relate at least a little. There is actually a psychological disorder that makes a person unable to properly articulate their thoughts or forget key words or names. It is called Lethologica; pretty sure I have this. It doesn’t affect me much when I write but almost always when I speak. But really that was a side note. Another side note: My mom hated when I took psycology becasuse I would always come home having self diagnosed myself with one disorder or another.
Back to the perfect word. I often turn to the thesaursus when writing essays or papers because so many words can have almost identical meanings yet can also mean something more. I love going and finding the original orgins of words. I used to do that when coming up with names for pieces I did in art school. I love to try and find words with multiple meanings. One piece I did I titled “Tainted“, which most people know to mean contaminated or affected negatively but the original Latin tingere meant ‘to dye, tinge’.
I got in to a debate with one of my instructors over a word in my grad paper. I had chosen, very carefully, the word suggestive to describe something. It is not a complex word but it said exactly what I wanted it to. His thought was that people often think suggestive to mean something scandalous or sexual. I wanted it to mean exactly what it says, to suggest something, doesn’t have to be sexual, could be anything. It seemed simple to me. Suggestive means to suggest. The piece was very minimalist and the idea was that I didn’t want to tell anyone want to think about it or how to feel about it. I simply wanted them to let the piece speak to them anyway that it did. Anyway, I won, it was my paper and that was the word I wanted. I doubted anyone would be reading it besides me or my instructor. Grad papers are not exactly riveting reads for most people.
Here is a picture of Tainted, in case you were curious.
Ah salon days! They are like a mini vacation and depending on the salon, could cost nearly as much. If you have never experienced a ‘salon day’ I would highly reccommend it. You come out feeling refreshed and pretty. The whole time you are there people tell you how good you look, what a great color your hair is going to be and essentially just make you feel good. They bring you coffee or tea and all the trashy magazines you could ever want. It is quite lovely.
It had been quite a while since I had my hair colored. I had recently moved so I didn’t have a hair dresser or a job to pay for it, so I kept putting it off. Normally, when you have colored hair, you get it done about every 6 weeks, tops. You really don’t want to wait any longer than that. I was going on 3 months. It was bad. Fortunately, I am skilled in the art of cleverly hiding my roots. Tip: Roots are much less noticable if you curl your hair. So here I am, with 3 months worth of roots coming out and I am getting people complimenting me on my hair! I thought they were clearly insane, obviously this was not an intentional look. Apparently, if one was to look through magazines, it is.
To be clear, my hair was not ombre. It was at one time platinum blonde but now had my dirty blonde colored roots coming through. According to celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Rihanna, it is a “look”. Well, good to know! Maybe now I can save some money. If people are going to still think my hair looks good when I have inches of roots who needs the salon! Here I am, hiding my roots with shame, thinking I looked trashy when in reality I’m in style. Who would have thought.